BrandGraph® 500 Year in Review Released: WhatsApp Ranks #1 for 2021

Entertainers and Metaverse Brands are the Topic of Most Social Media Conversations

Winter Park, Florida, UNITED STATES

Orlando, Florida, Jan. 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IZEA Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: IZEA), the premier provider of influencer marketing technology, data, and services for the world’s leading brands, today released its BrandGraph® 500 Year in Review ranking that highlights fascinating social media trends and brand-consumer conversations in 2021.

The BrandGraph platform analyzed 741 million pieces of content across 16.6 million different social media accounts in 2021 to determine which brands were most often mentioned by social media influencers across the leading social media platforms. The content index now contains more than 1.3 billion posts.

Highlights of the 2021 BrandGraph® 500:

  • Two tech giants dominate the top 10: Meta/Facebook accounts for the No. 1 (WhatsApp), No. 2 (Instagram) and No. 5 (Facebook) spots in the BrandGraph 500, while Alphabet/Google owns the No. 3 and 9 spots — YouTube and Google. Other mega-companies — TikTok (No. 4), Twitter (No. 6), Nike (No. 7), Disney (No. 8) and Apple’s iPhone (No. 10) — were top of mind for social media users in 2021. Netflix is making a play for a top-10 spot, rising two spots to No. 11.
  • Entertainment brands and performers generated the most buzz on social media and were the biggest movers on the BrandGraph 500. The most significant jump came from “Wandavision”; the Marvel Studio superhero show skyrocketed 257 places to No. 123 on the BrandGraph 500. The Academy Awards dropped 172 spots to No. 423 after ratings for the 2021 show tanked and garnered negative reviews.
  • It was also a big year for British singers, especially former One Direction members, who generated the highest engagement among entertainers on social media. Harry Styles rose 15 places to No. 95 while going on tour; Zayn Malik jumped 36 spots to No. 200 while breaking up with model Gigi Hadid and releasing new music; and Liam Payne dropped 26 places to No. 285 on the list after releasing the popular song “Sunshine.” Singer Dua Lipa, whose song “Levitating” was one No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list for 2021, ascended 32 places to No. 194. Ed Sheeran joined the list as he soared 141 positions to No. 292, one of the biggest jumps of 2021.
  • Nine American rappers made the BrandGraph 500: Cardi B at No. 128; Travis Scott at No. 152; Doja Cat at No. 240; Snoop Dogg at No. 263; Megan Thee Stallion at No. 275; DaBaby at No. 286; Lil Wayne at 291; Juice WRLD at No. 381; and Offset at No. 401. Among those, only Lil Wayne saw a spike in the ranking, jumping 46 places.
  • Virtual worlds and video games got people talking, like Roblox, which rose 113 positions to No. 149, and Fortnite, which dropped 16 spots but was still in the top 50, at No. 40. The well-known game Minecraft was up 17 spots to No. 72. Pokemon’s popularity surged in 2021, which was highlighted by an 82-place jump in the ranking to No. 191. Resident Evil had a spike as well, rising 76 places to No. 243.
  • Social media users also showed an interest in crypto. Bitcoin rose 45 spots in the ranking to No. 19, illustrating the increasing conversations surrounding cryptocurrencies and their future. Other cryptocurrencies that joined BrandGraph in 2021: Dogecoin, XRP, Binance Coin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Cardano and Ethereum.

“BrandGraph gives brands unparalleled social media and consumer insights to kick-start their 2022 marketing campaigns and monitor their progress over time” said Ted Murphy, Founder and CEO of IZEA. “The capability of the platform has grown immensely over the past year, both in functionality and in the sheer volume of data we are analyzing for over 5,000 brands across a wide range of industries.”

For the complete analysis of the BrandGraph 500, read our blog post here:

Core BrandGraph Functionality Added Throughout 2021

Full TikTok Platform Support
A first in competitive benchmarking, BrandGraph reports now include TikTok content, as do brand profiles, and BrandGraph trends.

BrandGraph Compare
BrandGraph Compare enables marketers to benchmark social media activity among brands across the entire BrandGraph universe. The Compare feature provides a slew of comparison data sets (including a breakdown of key social media content statistics), identifies influencers, benchmarks engagement rates, and more.

Example: Benchmark the brands Ford vs. Pepsi vs. Dunkin’ vs. CVS

BrandGraph Themes
Themes are “super classifiers” that enable BrandGraph to connect wildcard brands, categories, mentions, keywords, hashtags — even emoji — together into a singular concept for identification and classification. Themes are used to contextually group content and provide insights both within BrandGraph and across the IZEA software ecosystem.

Example: The video game theme includes over 1,000 identifiers including game titles (Fortnite), game consoles (Xbox), game streaming (Twitch), and game hashtags (#gamergirl).

Creator Interests
BrandGraph is now able to provide insights related to the content being produced about a brand. This information can be used by marketers to better understand the “content culture” of their own brand or a competing brand.

Example: Jeep has a high concentration of influencers posting about camping, photography, sunsets, and the military. Tesla influencers post more about space travel, memes, consumer electronics, and climate change.

Brand-Produced Content
BrandGraph now provides marketers with a tool to see the content themes of posts made by brands themselves. This tool can be used to quickly view content strategies for competitive or collaborative evaluation, similar to influencer profiles in IZEAx.

Example: BrandGraph programmatically identified that Lego has shared content to promote Star Wars, Nintendo, and Nasa.

With BrandGraph®, brands can now see not only their ranking against competitors, but the brand universe at large, all curated programmatically by IZEA technology. Get more insights at All product names, logos, and brands are property of their respective owners. All company, product, and service names used in this press release are for identification purposes only. Use of these names, logos, and brands does not imply endorsement.

About IZEA

IZEA Worldwide, Inc. (“IZEA”) is a marketing technology company providing software and professional services that enable brands to collaborate and transact with the full spectrum of today’s top social influencers and content creators. The company serves as a champion for the growing Creator Economy, enabling individuals to monetize their content, creativity, and influence. IZEA launched the industry’s first-ever influencer marketing platform in 2006 and has since facilitated nearly 4 million transactions between online buyers and sellers. Leading brands and agencies partner with IZEA to increase digital engagement, diversify brand voice, scale content production, and drive measurable return on investment.

Safe Harbor Statement

All statements in this release that are not based on historical fact are “forward-looking statements” intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and describe our future plans, strategies and expectations, can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terms such as “may,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “hope,” “estimate,” “believe,” “intend,” "likely," "projects," “plans,” "pursue," "strategy" or "future," or the negative of these words or other words or expressions of similar meaning. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make regarding expectations concerning IZEA’s ability to increase revenue and bookings, growth or maintenance of customer relationships, and expectations concerning IZEA’s business strategy. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, as a result of various factors including, among others, the following: competitive conditions in the content and social sponsorship segment in which IZEA operates; failure to popularize one or more of the marketplace platforms of IZEA; our ability to establish effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting; our ability to satisfy the requirements for continued listing of our common stock on the Nasdaq Capital Market; changing economic conditions that are less favorable than expected; and other risks and uncertainties described in IZEA’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements made in this release speak only as of the date of this release, and IZEA assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or changes in expectations, except as otherwise required by law.


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